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“What great staff!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Indochina Sails - Day Tours

Indochina Sails - Day Tours
27 A6 Dam Trau, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi 113628, Vietnam
+84 4 3984 2362
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Ranked #23 of 380 activities in Hanoi
Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: What better way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site than on board an Indochina Sails or Valentine Junk! With over a decade of hosting international guests on the tranquil waters of Halong Bay, Indochina Sails has set the standard for luxury cruising. The first company to offer overnight cruises on the bay, Indochina Sails is now widely known as the number one choice for discerning travelers, operating a fleet of six newly built wooden junks designed in time-honored traditional style, with contemporary and luxurious cabins and facilities. Our boats feature spacious, well-appointed cabins and suites with large en-suite bathrooms, large sundecks with comfortable lounging furniture and elegant dining rooms and bars. We have designed and fitted our boats to international standards while maintaining traditional styling, creating the perfect balance of modern comforts and nostalgic ambiance.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“What great staff!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2012

This cruise began our month long stay in VietNam. Our drum welcome was terrific and the staff could not have been friendlier. The food was delicious and we thought there was plenty of variety [only of course if you're a fussy eater!]. Tuan, our English Speaking Guide, was a real champion with his witty explanations and jokes. He was so open and honest about his life back home with his wife and sons. Hoped they loved the stickers and lollies, Tuan. He really tried his best, as did all the staff, to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves. AND, I loved the Tai Chi with our Master on the top deck in the early morning!!!

As we had already done a cruise on Halong Bay with our teenage children in 2007, we decided on the one night/two day option. For us, the trip didn't feel the same; we had had a private boat which took us to quiet places without the tourists. This trip took us to Luan Cave, Titop Island and Sung Sot Cave which we had to share with 'thousands' of pushy loud Chinese tourists. Not the fault of the staff but it does put a dampener on a beautiful trip. Also, we were stunned to see such a beautiful boat painted WHITE. Two versions of why the boats are painted white; because of a boating accident a few years ago and white boats are easier to find in the water and the other reason is because a government official thought that white boats would be more attractive and aesthetically pleasing like the boats in Greece. This ruling about white boats into affect in May 2012.

Visited May 2012
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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English first
Congleton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Excellent 5* junk-very relaxing.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

Visited late April.
A very long road trip from Hanoi with only one stop.
Valentine excellent, accommodation, food and service. However, there was far too much food and the staff can look quite hurt if a course is refused, as though it isn't good enough. As there is accommodation for only 10, service is personalised, yet not intrusive.
The crew and staff were excellent.
Bedroom quite small, air-con very welcome, but adequate, with a good bathroom. Terrific to wake up, open the curtains and look out on another new vista. One point, our travel agent in UK said it's best to take soft bag on to the junk, one can see why, as two suitcases take up a lot of the space. The Vietnamese agent said that it's not worth the bother, so no-one did. Our soft bag went half-way round the world and back again. Tip; if you want a soft bag, buy it in Hanoi-a "North Face" (copy?) is only around £3-£5.
Junks, following a diktat from the Vietnamese Govt are now painted white, they look ridiculous, the more so as most only have superficial coat of white in the hope that the law will be rescinded.
Weather very overcast and misty, although nearly 30C, which means it's not good for sight seeing or photography.
First afternoon, we cruised to a beach in the bay and walked up to the top of a viewpoint-the problem was that the mist precluded getting a good view of the carsts. A great pity. On our return we made spring rolls with a member of the crew which gave everyone a laugh.
After dinner of many small courses, we fished for squid off the side of junk with the aid of a very bright light, which was fun and different! Next day, after a large breakfast, we went on a tender to visit a water-village. Fascinating to see day to day life for the villagers.
But the water was filthy - all manner of refuse from the towns on shore ends up in the village's bay because of the currents. One has to ask oneself about eating sea-food from this area.....
Then visited a pearl factory, but saw no-one buying, very expensive.
Next day was sunny and clear and we had a kayak and paddled into large caves and out into lagoons with sheer cliff sides and vivid blue water. An excellent morning's visit.
A point worth noting is that each evening the CEO (an Englishman) of IndoChina Sails , the company which owns the junk and many others, visited and spoke with every passenger about experiences, good and bad. One had the impression that he would not tolerate a lowering of standards. He was there as we disembarked, overseeing transfers.
The second evening we watched the episode of Top Gear when the boys visited Vietnam. The middle aged Canadian couple on board with us, looked bemused at the antics of Jeremy, James and Richard! The video though, was past its best, with frequent break downs.
Overall, a very worthwhile and excellent visit. Not to be missed.

Visited April 2012
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Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
62 attraction reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“Most pleasant cruise experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

The highlight of my trip was the Halong Bay Cruise. Indochina Sails really got it right with a Professional team of all Vietnamese crew, well maintained boat with comfortable spacious bathroom and the most delicious food. A pity the sky was overcast (no clear day for an impressive view) but cruising through the many limestone karsts was quite amazing. Compliments to the chef, I am most impressed by the quality and variety of food served. It was indeed a pleasant overnight stay on board. Nice to mingle with the other passengers (about 30 altogether). Everyone was friendly. There was a wine tasting before dinner which had a good selection at reasonable price of $16. They served a set lunch upon boarding the boat and 2 buffets (dinner and breakfast). One feels really relaxed and pampered on board. The crew really takes good care of you. The kayaking option is more fun than the boat option which they offer to see the caves. Brace yourself for 2 climbs up steep 100-120steps to admire the caves. Good workout after all that food. Towels and water are provided for you to swim at the bay near Titop Island.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haarlem, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Great cruise company.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2012

We really enjoyed our trip on Indochina Sails. Everything was arranged perfectly from the pick up at our hotel in Hanoi to drop off at another hotel in Hanoi. The cruise itself was great as well. Booking direct with the cruise company was also great as we had everything included, where others that had booked through another agency had to pay for some extras such as wine tasting etc. We only wished time had allowed to extend our cruise to a 3 day one, but maybe we will have a chance to return some day. Also great service, and very very interesting to talk to the general manager and our guide for the two days.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great experience on Indochina Sails”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

A very well organised company with smooth arrangements. Payment and confirmation online was good with quick e mail to arrange hotel pick up. The 4 hour drive from Hanoi is not too pleasant with some crazy overtaking and speeding, paying extra for the car (which I did on return) rather then the mini bus is probably worth it. There is a pleasant waiting room at Halong and before long you are on the tender and on the boat. The company is run by an American who lives on the fleet, rotating each day to check standards. Staff are very good and smiling, food and drink excellent - even for special diets. The cabin is wood panelled, good air con and very clean. Worth the extra for larger room. It’s amazing to lie in bed and watch the islands pass by! The itinerary is good and the islands are beautiful. Transfer to the day boat for day two, the day boat is actually quite big. Kayaking and swimming an option although look out for the jelly fish in the spring. The island with the beach was a bit crowded and was a bit surprised the water wasn't so clear or so blue as expected. The onboard safety is good, main risks are during foggy spells, having read some of the past events was well prepared and sought out lifejackets, flotation gears and exits. Don't bother with the one night cruise, its simply not sufficient time, two nights is the best option and you see so much more as well as not having to endure the car journey on two consecutive days. Indochina appear to be, quite rightly, one of the Halong cruise leaders and are well recommended.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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